Lawrence Patton McDonald (April 1, 1935 – September 1, 1983) was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Georgia’s 7th congressional district as a Democrat from 1975 until he was killed while a passenger on board Korean Air Lines Flight 007 when it was shot down by Soviet interceptors shortly after this filming.
1983, Rep. Larry McDonald (D-Ga.), along with 268 other passengers and crew members aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007, was killed when Soviet interceptors shot down the Boeing 747 airliner near Sakhalin Island after it had entered Soviet airspace. McDonald was en route to Seoul to attend a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of the U.S.-South Korea defense pact.
McDonald, a urologist, made an unsuccessful run for Congress in 1972 before being elected in 1974. In 1982, as an avowed anti-communist, he became the second president of the John Birch Society, succeeding Robert Welch Jr., the conservative group’s founder. In 1980, the year after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, McDonald introduced a bill to ban U.S. trade with the Soviet Union. The measure was defeated 284-124.
In 1979, McDonald helped found the Western Goals Foundation, with the aim of combating world communism. At the time, he also sponsored a House resolution, originally adopted at an American Legion national convention, calling for a congressional investigation of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Trilateral Commission.
Shortly after McDonald’s death, his widow, Katherine, declared her candidacy for the vacant House seat. She won an open primary with 30 percent of the vote but was forced into a November runoff against her closest challenger, George “Buddy” Darden, who won the race and served the remainder of McDonald’s term — and 10 additional years.